Boatwif Blog

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Shake, Rattle and Roll

On the Friday before Thanksgiving Break Cal Guy Jnr’s class went on a field trip to the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, about a 25 minute drive west towards the coast. He’d enjoyed it – and asked to go back. The museum galleries are on the ground floor of the global headquarters of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants.   Instruments made and sold since 1900 are on display: phonographs,    organs,    accordions, pianos, wind and stringed instruments,    ...

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Out and About

You can almost get confused out here as to which season it is – is it Thanksgiving?   or Christmas?   (Photos taken on the same day, same store). The roadside pumpkin selling patch has now restocked with Fresh standing in water Christmas trees… and on Black Friday there was a cheer at the first sighting of a large Christmas tree lashed to the roof of a saloon car… At the Carlsbad Outlet Mall last week (November 13th) the central Christmas tree...

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Schedules

(A post delayed by a power cable failure) Boatwif and the Captain were spared a regular school day on Monday (12th November) as it was Veterans’ Day in the US, a public holiday. There would be four schooldays of the forthcoming week before the Thanksgiving Break and a confusing amount of time-keeping to contend with. Cal Guy Jnr (age 8, Third Grade in elementary school) needs to be at school for 0845. He can be delivered from 0810 and he...

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Home deliveries to 33N, 117W

There’s been a huge expansion in home deliveries in recent years, Tesco and Ocado and the like buzz about delivering to houses, flats, palaces (maybe) and even boats…  Now on behalf of Sainsbury’s the Cleddau crew have made a delivery drop in Southern California… Foolish enough to ask family members if there were any shopping requests from the UK their answers were swift and decisive: “Chocolate drops,” said Cal Gal. “Smarties,” said Cal Guy Jnr, “and Jaffa cakes – plus...

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So that was October…

For the Cleddau crew there always seems to be a breathlessness about October. You see, November follows October and again this year there will be a November Thanksgiving Visit to California… So, things had to be done… At the outset of the month, after the best part of six months afloat, the boat needed closing up, the house needed opening up and the garden needed clearing up… Between the jobs that needed doing came social activities. Take Apple Day, for...

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Into winter hibernation

Little did Cleddau or her crew know in early October last year that she was leaving Victoria Pit on the upper level of the Macclesfield Canal for what would be a Gap Year Plus… Tixall Wide to Aston Marina, 9 miles, 3 locks Monday October 1st dawned dry, though breezy. This really was to be the final boating day of the 2018 cruise. There was a short final stroll along the towpath at Tixall Wide,    the bank now clear...

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Do you want … Paradise?

Slowly onward, Hopwas to Tixall Wide, 21¼ miles, 5 locks During the recent crop of warm September days there have been lengthening afternoon shadows and stunning evening sunsets.   The most frequent sign of the season has been grey squirrels, spotted in numerous locations, scrabbling for booty to haul away to secret places. Along the Coventry Canal, beside the Trent and Mersey and on the Shugborough Estate grey squirrels have been seen, always focused and always fast!   On sunny Thursday...

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Battling on

There had been a sharp right at Marston Junction off the Coventry Canal.  High winds and poor weather drove Cleddau to hunker down in a safe setting for a couple of days. (Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th September). There are plenty of mooring areas along the Ashby Canal although a tree-free stretch with straight metal piling to hook or chain onto between Bridges 2 and 3 was already occupied by several boats. In the high winds    the boat was...

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An end to things

Braunston Summit (Northamptonshire) to Marston Junction (Warwickshire):  29½ miles, 10 locks Cruising since Braunston Summit has had a sense of finality about it. This (Braunston Tunnel on Saturday morning)    was to be the last proper tunnel of the year.   The tunnel light checked, the cabin lights turned on, the flood light was mounted on the engine hatch – and yes, the bow was struck by an oncoming Napton hire boat… It’s a tunnel wide enough for a broad beam boat...

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Grand cruising on the Grand Union

Gayton – Braunston Summit: 13 miles, 7 locks Safely up and away from the River Nene, Cleddau and Tentatrice both had engines serviced at Gayton Marina on Tuesday morning. This was the first service for Cleddau since Burton Fields Marina, near Lincoln. For those who like numbers it was a basic service after 250 engine hours, the BETA 43 engine installed by Stoke Boats in Spring 2014 now having run for 2282 hours. The engine service was a remarkably slick...